Palliative and Supportive Care
Comfort and support in facing serious illness
What is Palliative medicine?
Palliative medicine is a philosophy of care, as well as a field of medical and supportive care that addresses the total needs of patients living with serious, life-threatening illness-whatever the diagnosis or prognosis. Through relief of pain and other symptoms, and support with psychological, social, and spiritual issues, palliative medicine can improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
When you are in the hospital with a serious illness, you will have many questions about your condition and may face difficult decisions regarding your care. In addition, disabling physical symptoms or overwhelming emotions can sap the strength and inner resources you need to fight your illness and make the choices that are right for you.
The skilled health care professionals on St. Luke’s Palliative Medicine team will be there to ease your mind as well as your symptoms, and will support your individual goals, whether they be the desire to live more comfortably or the hope for a cure or a longer life. Our team will work with you, your physician, and your family to help you live the most fulfilling life possible.
at St. Luke’s
The Palliative Medicine team at St. Luke’s includes a physician, an advanced practice nurse, social workers, chaplains, and other professionals who will be there for you every step of the way. They will work closely with your doctor to provide high-quality, compassionate, integrated care, including:
- Treatment of pain and other symptoms, such as fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, and shortness of breath
- Help in navigating the health care system
- Guidance with medical treatment options
- Information and assistance regarding health care proxy and durable power of attorney
- Home care or Hospice coordination and referral
- Emotional and spiritual support for you and your family
When should I begin palliative medicine?
Palliative medicine can help at any stage of a serious illness, and can be given while you are getting treatments aimed at curing your disease. Palliative medicine can continue as long as you have distressing symptoms. Early palliative treatment can prevent and relieve your pain, improve your tolerance to medical treatments, and improve your ability to live your life.
How do I begin palliative medicine?
If you or a loved one is in the hospital, ask your doctor for a referral. We will work with your doctor to help you and your family plan for the highest possible comfort and quality of life in the hospital and at home.
For more information about Palliative Medicine, visit getpalliativecare.org.
Peter Kozisek, MD
Stanley Hall, FNP
Palliative Nurse Practitioner
Alys Falcone, RN
Whitney Godsill, LMSW
Gail Vasquez, LCSW